Sunday, December 31, 2006

 

Foresight sees wreck items go on display

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Examiner
By Luke Scott
December 31, 2006


AN EXHIBITION marking the 100th anniversary of one of the most dramatic shipwrecks to occur off Tasmania's coast will open to the public tomorrow at the Low Head Pilot Station museum.

On the morning of January 6, 1907, the wool transport ship Eden Holme ran aground on Hebe Reef, 5km from the mouth of the Tamar River.

The reef had been named after the Hebe, a ship that was wrecked on the rocks in 1808.

The treacherous stretch of reef has claimed many victims over the years, including the Asterope in 1883, the SS Esk in 1886, the Eden Holme in 1907 and, most recently, the ore transport ship the Iron Baron in 1995.

The Eden Holme wreck was unusual in that nearly all items of worth were removed from the ship before it sank, and much of the cargo and maritime equipment was auctioned by the ship's owner to counter the loss.

After the large salvage operation, the ship took 12 days to sink and eventually went under on January 18.

Many of the salvaged items from the ship have been sourced by volunteers for the exhibition, and curator Wayne Shipp said it was unique to have such a collection of equipment from a single ship.

The exhibition features instruments like chronometers, hydrometers, a sounding machine, and other items like the captain's telescope, crockery, furniture, porthole frames, books and more.

Most of the displayed pieces are on loan to the museum until the end of February, so Mr Shipp encouraged people to get in early to see them.

"It's a unique part of Tasmania's maritime history," he said.

"Rarely do you get such an opportunity to see so many wonderful pieces of a ship's navigational equipment and so forth that actually belonged to one single ship."


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